When Cin is given the choice between Jail and mining the planet Ripindel for shrube, she immediately picks the latter option. 18 months later she finds herself alone amongst the traitorous terrain, with little chance of getting of getting the 10 shrube she needs to get out of hell and to “paradise”. One fateful day she walks upon two men making love in a clearing and pauses to watch the passion and affection she hasn’t had in years. That momentary pause brings her into contact with two men who force their way into her life and into her heart.
Elder and Mach have been on Ripindel for a long time. Having nearly gained the twenty shrubes that they need to both escape into paradise they still find the time to stop and help a stranger in distress. What they don’t expect is to feel so attracted to the feisty loner but they are even more surprised to find that she finds them equally enticing. The men attach themselves to the feisty heroine, trying to protect each other, and her, to try to get them all safely to Paradise. But with fearsome characters on the loose, can they keep everyone alive in order to find the rest of the shrubes?
I haven’t read much sci-fi but I have read a lot of Cassidy Hunter. She never disappoints. This is the tale of a contrary, damaged heroine and two very dominant and possessive men. Mach is a half alien warrior who is a complete badass. He looks a little different to humans, but it doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming difference so I didn’t ick out. He has problems expressing himself verbally, but no problem expressing himself physically. It is he the one that realises that Cin is attracted to them, that she wants them as much as they want her. I’m sure there was probably a little bit of loneliness pushing the lust forward, but that makes no difference as the story progresses and the feelings develop. Elder is definitely a human but has a bit of a strange personality. One minute he is Mr Charming and the next he’s a bit of a pushy SOB. I’m not too sure about him, but he worked as part of the trio. They did fall together rather quickly, but only after they protected her from some serious nasties. It was all very intense and yummy but the baddies just kept getting nastier and the peril more real. There is a scene in the book where the three of them face off against “splitters” (they sounded like they flay people alive for food) and what I enjoyed was that all three of them held their own in the fight for survival; they never treated Cin as anything less than a woman who had survived on her own for nearly two years. I enjoyed Cin as she was a bit of a snark-fest; I loved her knives, which in this world were living creatures. Very, very cool.
I’m not going to lie, this does skirt a little into the realms of dubious consent and there is a scene that made me gag where a alien like creature performs oral sex on the heroine (non-consensualish…she has to let it perform on her to save herself and the men). I didn’t like this bit BUT I knew going into this book what I was letting myself in for. Ms Hunter’s book often skirt on the edge of being quite dark and, with this being quite sci-fi, I was expecting something to happen. It was a short scene and was over fairly quickly without scarring me for life….it could have been much worse. I enjoy her writing and this scene was a mere blip (which I don’t think I was supposed to enjoy anyway!) in an overall very enjoyable book.
There is a ménage love story (where the men are also involved) amongst a back-drop of a prisoner type world and creepy alien bad-guys. The sex is smoking and the danger is palpable, making the overall tone of the book even more smexy! If you like sci-fi futuristic erotica, this could be the book for you. Oh yeah, and this is the start of the series so expect an almighty twist J